While the area is famous for hiking in summer and skiing in winter, when one thinks of the mountanous prefecture of Nagano, art isn’t exactly the first thing that springs to mind. However, this preconception may be about to change.
Up in the northwest of the prefecture, from early June to the end of July, the city of Omachi will play host to the first ever Japan Alps Art Festival.
The festival is the brainchild of Fram Kitagawa, an experienced festival director and head of the Art Front Gallery in Daikanyama who was also an adviser to Culture City of East Asia 2016 and the director of Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale. Kitagawa has used this expertise to bring this festival together with the stated aim of seeing the art and artists feed the imagination and understanding of visitors, much in the same way that the water cascading down the mountains has “grown rich forests, cultivated unique lifestyle and nurtured distinctive culinary culture of the region”.
It is not only the artwork that is on display that is a draw to the festival, but the aforementioned local cuisine goes some way to enhancing the unique atmosphere. On top of all of this the festival’s setting – with the immense Kurobe dam covered in artwork and its backdrop of 3,000m peaks – only adds to the artistic visage of this extraordinary festival.
The festival will see around 40 artists gathered from both Japan and the international art community. Below are a handful to look out for.
Click here for a full list of artists involved in the festival.
Image courtesy of SAM via http://sagg.info/odyssey-navigating-nameless-seas/ – screengrab (modified)